Valerie Percy
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Valerie Percy


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Track 1: Valerie Percy (née Dreaper) comes from a farming and thoroughbred horse training family in Co. Meath. Her father’s business was finishing Hereford cattle which, she explains, paid for the loss on the training of horses. She considers that she had a marvellous childhood and remembers some of the famous horses trained at the Dreaper yard, including Prince Regent whose career was interrupted by the war and also the famous Arkle. Valerie says that her father, Tom Dreaper, who was born in Donoughmore, Ashbourne, Co. Meath in 1898, first began training point-to-pointers about 1920 as a hobby. Her brother, Jim Dreaper, has now taken over the business. Track 2: Valerie’s paternal grandparents lived in Donoughmore, in Co. Meath. Her mother’s father, Marcus Ralph Russell from Mount Temple, Co. Westmeath, served in the 8th Hussars and was killed in 1918 during WWI. Prior to the war, he had been an apprentice solicitor and his death is commemorated on the Solicitors’ Memorial plaque at the Four Courts in Dublin. Her mother was born in 1915 and after her father’s death, she lived with her mother’s people, the Quaker Goodbody family, at Clara, Co. Westmeath. She explains that her great-grandparents, the Russells, left Ireland for Dorset in 1920. She mentions her father’s uncle, George Albert Dreaper, who was a Surgeon Rear-Admiral. Jervis, Valerie’s husband, explains that the cavalry were used in the later part of the war and that the Hussars were deployed as infantrymen in the last great German offensive. Track 3: Jervis discusses his father, Jocelyn Percy, who was born in Australia in 1898. He explains that in 1912, Jocelyn was sent to boarding school at Rugby in England and later went to Sandhurst where he became an officer in 1917 in the Durham Light Infantry regiment. He took part in the last battles on the Somme and was wounded there. Track 4: Valerie looks at some family photographs. She explains that when her parents married, her mother, Eva Elizabeth (Betty), whose mother was of the Goodbody family, attended Church of Ireland services. However, when she went to live in England in 1979, she again practised as a Quaker, and this was important to her in her life.

Additional information


Disk, MP3

Audio series:

The Irish Country House and the Great War


128 kbps

Download time limit:

48 hours

File size(s):

7.42 MB, 10.57 MB, 6.84 MB

Number of files:


Product ID:



The Dreaper family of Co. Meath

Recorded by:

Maurice O'Keeffe – Irish Life and Lore